Tag Archives: 2017-11

Vatican releases papal message for 2018 World Day of Peace

VATICAN CITY – Pope Francis’ message for the celebration of the 2018 World Day of Peace was released on 24 Nov 2017 during a press conference at the Holy See Press Office.

The message entitled Migrants and Refugees: Men and Women in search of Peace is divided into six sections with the first offering heartfelt good wishes for peace and inviting people of good will to embrace those fleeing war, hunger, and persecution.

The message also poses the question, why so many migrants and refugees? Pope Francis answers this by considering the many conflicts forcing people to leave their homelands, but he notes also the desire for a better life.

The Holy Father notes that some people consider the growth in migration as a threat… But, “for my part,” he says, “I ask you to view it with confidence, as an opportunity to build peace.”

Contained in the 4th section of the message under the theme, “four mileposts for action,”  the Pope points out what is needed in order for migrants and refugees to find the peace they seek is a strategy combining four actions: welcoming, protecting, promoting and integrating.

Looking at the situation from an international perspective, Pope Francis expresses the hope that this spirit of welcome and integration, “will guide the process that in the course of 2018 will lead the United Nations to draft and approve two Global Compacts, one for safe, orderly and regular migration and the other for refugees.”

Finally, the Holy Father draws inspiration from Saint John Paul II  with these words. “If the ‘dream’ of a peaceful world is shared by all, if the refugees’ and migrants’ contribution is properly evaluated, then humanity can become more and more a universal family and our earth a true ‘common home’.”

The Church celebrates the World Day of Peace on January 1 annually.

BM version of book on Fatima Seers launched at SPC Ranau

Fr Nicholas (L) presents a copy of the book to the representative of the SPCR Kasih Bonda Kindergarten, 5 Nov 2017.

RANAU – A Bahasa Malaysia version of a book written by Sister Emmanuel Maillard of the Children of Medjugorje (COM) was launched at St Peter Claver here 0n 5 Nov 2017.

Entitled Anak-Anakku, Bantu Menangkan Hatiku, (Children, Help My Heart to Triumph), the book centres on the three seers in the Fatima Apparitions in Portugal in 1917.

The translation was done by three sisters, Shera Laura, Sarah Lounira and Sandra Leonora, under the guidance of their uncle,  Clarence G Dol.  The sisters are currently studying at the Universiti Malaysia Sabah.

At the launching, Father Nicholas Stephen said that after 100 years, the message of Fatima is even more relevant today.

“The message of Fatima is to pray the Rosary every day for the peace of our world and our families, as all families today are constantly threatened … by Satan’s forces …” he said.

Fr Nicholas said that in 2016 during the Jubilee Year of Mercy, Sr Emmanuel came to SPCR for the second time and presented him with a book she wrote about the experiences of Lucia Santos, Francisco and Jacinta Marto.

He added that Sr Emmanuel insisted on a BM translation of the book so that Christians in Sabah could understand the message of Mary to the world through the eyes of children and adolescents.

Limited copies of the book are distributed within the church by Soccom SPCR.  Part of the proceeds will go to the SPCR Kasih Bonda Kindergarten building fund which is due for construction in January 2018.

Those who are interested to get a copy can contact Zebius at 013-8803876. – clarence g dol

Vatican opens official chancery in Kuala Lumpur

Deputy Foreign Minister Datuk Seri Reezal Merican gives his speech with Abp Joseph Marino, apostolic nuncio,(C) and Abp Angelo Becciu (R), papal representative, standing behind him, at the opening ceremony of the Vatican chancery in Kuala Lumpur on 23 Nov 2017.

KUALA LUMPUR – The inauguration of the Apostolic Nunciature (Vatican chancery) at Taman U-Thant here took place on 23 Nov 2017.

Archbishop Angelo Becciu, who represented Pope Francis, said the new chancery was made possible with the support from the Catholic Bishops Conference of Malaysia and “those convinced of the importance of establishing the permanent site of the Apostolic Nunciature in Malaysia.”

“To all, I express His Holiness’ heartfelt gratitude.  This structure symbolises the friendly ties between Malaysia and the Holy See,” Abp Becciu said.

Deputy Foreign Minister Datuk Seri Reezal Merican Naina Merican, who represented the Government, said the opening of the permanent site proved that Malaysia’s relations with the Holy See were improving.

In his speech, Merican said: “Malaysia has a thriving Catholic community which, along with other existing religious communities in Malaysia, is free to profess and practise its religion.  Our Prime Minister and Government have always been committed to safeguarding the welfare of every religious community in the country, including the Catholic faithful.”

He also said the Govern­ment took a positive step in setting up diplomatic relations with the Holy See, which culminated in Tan Sri Bernard Dompok being posted as Malaysia’s first resident ambassador to the Vatican in March 2016.

Apostolic Nuncio to Malaysia Archbishop Joseph Salvador Marino said he hoped that excellent relations between both sides would continue to grow.

Most of the region’s arch/bishops were present including Archbishop John Wong of Kota Kinabalu, Bishop Cornelius Piong of Keningau, Bishop Joseph Hii of Sibu, and Bishop Cornelius Sim of Brunei.

Also present was Ambassador of Malaysia to the Holy See Bernard Giluk Dompok.

The property was purchased on 1 Oct 2014, three years after the Holy See and Malaysia established diplomatic relations on 27 July 2011, subsequent to the meeting between Pope Benedict XVI and Prime Minister Datuk Najib Razak in the Apostolic Palace in Castel Gandolfo.

It is located in the Ampang area in Kuala Lumpur, the zone where other diplomatic representations are found, not far from St John’s Cathedral.

The nunciature was blessed by Abp Becciu the next day, Friday, Nov 24, during a concelebrated Mass with the local arch/bishops.

In his homily Abp Becciu said: “In our ministry as Bishops, we too experience the power of God’s grace working through our own weakness, as we strive in humility to be a rock for those whom we serve.”

He reminded the prelates that they are called to be “a visible sign of God’s rock-like presence in the universal Church and in each of your particular Churches. If there are times when we want to protest our weakness to Christ, as Peter did, we must trust in the Lord’s unshakable promise to be with us always, to strengthen us in our mission as heralds of the Gospel and as shepherds of God’s faithful people. His promise will never fail.” – various sources

MSB Bishops’ Conference gives dispensation from fasting and abstinence for Lunar New Year 2018

PLENTONG, Johor – In a circular dated 30 Oct 2017, the Catholic Bishops Conference of Malaysia, Singapore and Brunei has decided to give dispensation from abstinence from meat and fasting on 16 Feb 2018 in view of the Lunar New Year, a decision made during its meeting in January 2017.

The first day of the Lunar New Year falls on Feb 16, the Friday after Ash Wednesday (Feb 14).

Ash Wednesday ushers in the penitential season of Lent and is one of the two days when fasting (21-60 years old) and abstinence (14 yrs and above) are required.  All Fridays are days of abstinence throughout the year unless they are solemnities.

The circular was signed by Bishop Sebastian Francis of Penang, currently the president of the bishops’ conference.

The media navigate between lies and truth

Stephane Madaule, a writer in the La Croix International, gives his take on the media navigating between lies and truth in an article posted on 23 Nov 2017.

What do the media and social networks prefer: lies or the truth?

This is a question that can certainly be asked with regard to many media spaces. Indeed, sensationalist news is often more eye-catching than the truth. And it only serves to increase our appetites as consumers of information.

This stuff fills up blank spaces in the media agenda. At times, it obscures news that media outlets want to conceal. Fake news takes the place of real news.

According to news networks, information that is broadcast is more or less well controlled. Editorial teams are useful in separating the wheat from the chaff, even though it’s not always easy to come to unanimous decisions about the broadcasting of doubtful or erroneous news items.

The ethics of journalism and the credibility of news agencies are often effective in stopping the broadcasting of fake news. Nonetheless, the positions taken by news agencies in all media (written, televised or on the internet) do not necessarily prevent lapses from occurring.

On social networks, there is no control. All opinions, advice and certainties on any topic are available to anyone. It’s a source of information that has no rules or principles.

Only an adequate amount of awareness and education, and the application of a critical mindset, can help us to avoid being taken in by fake news that has no supporting evidence or that is deliberately misleading.

On social media, everyone is a broadcaster and his or her own editor. When these people are celebrities or represent a respectable institution or possess a certain credibility thanks to their position or status, things become all the more cloudy and complicated when they post fake news or misleading information – for example, on media such as Twitter.

In this kind of scenario, traditional media unfortunately have a propensity to pass on whatever happens to be all over social media that everyone is talking about. So the information or opinion becomes a given that is very difficult to refute. In fact, it immediately gains legitimacy – merely because so many people are reading it and relating to it.

To counter this, certain serious media outlets have devoted space and time to the decoding and critical analysis of fake news in order to refute it more effectively.

However, in economic terms, sensationalist, misleading and fallacious news often makes the front page – grabbing attention and the income that comes with it. Then, this fake news leads to the publication of a follow-up of analysis and debunking, which is, again, attention-grabbing and profitable.

What we can hope for is a media space free of scurrilous rubbish, a space where fake news doesn’t obscure the real news resulting in a cycle of endless publishing and debunking.

Clearly, lies are attention-grabbing. However, the truth must win in the long term, especially when it aims to disseminate real information to people – even if they are often gullible to conspiracy theories or lies intended to capture media space.

The most effective barrier against fake news and lies is made up of education, morality, ethics and editorial committees: credibility in the long term.

Former aspirant returns to celebrate Mass with CAC staff and aspirants

PENAMPANG – A former aspirant returned to celebrate Mass with staff and aspirants at the Catholic Archdiocesan Centre here on 23 Nov 2017.

Father Joshua Liew, who entered as an aspirant in 2007, celebrated the last Mass for 2017 for the staff working in the various commissions and offices.

After a year of aspirancy, Liew entered Initiation Year in 2008 and continued his formation at St Peter’s College Kuching in 2009.  He finished his studies and was ordained priest on 3 May 2016.  In January 2018 he replaces Father Wilfred Atin as director of the Aspirants Formation House at the CAC.

In his homily, he urged the staff and aspirants to recognise the time of the Lord’s visitation through their work or studies.

After Mass, all adjourned to the dining hall for a fellowship lunch.

CAC staff and aspirants undergo centring prayer experience

PENAMPANG – The staff and aspirants of the Kota Kinabalu Catholic Archdiocesan Centre (CAC) here underwent a refreshing centring prayer experience on 23 Nov 2017.

Guided by La Salle Brother Peter Foo who has been teaching this since 1981, the staff learnt about this ancient form of prayer: entering into silence where God speaks and heals.

They learnt to get in touch with their subconscious which is active in the first seven years of life, when most of the inner programmes are set, and how to slowly change their bad behaviours they have observed in themselves.

The objective of this form of prayer is to ultimately let God lead them to transformation but they must make time for it, 20 minutes being the optimum time for beginners, any time any place.

Two other ways they learnt were the Emotional Freedom Technique (EFT) – tapping the meridian points on one’s body – and the Ho’oponopono Mantra of Dr Ihaleakala Hew Len – healing others by healing oneself through repentance (I’m sorry), forgiveness (please forgive me), gratitude (thank you), and love (I love you).

The session ended with Br Foo promising to have a follow-up session after three months.

MCCBCHST-GSS to initiate campaign awareness to end human trafficking

KUALA LUMPUR – As a follow-up to the Joint Declaration Against Human Trafficking which was held on 30 July 2017, the Malaysian Consultative Council of Buddhism, Christianity, Hinduism, Sikhism and Taoism (MCCBCHST) in collaboration with Good Shepherd Services (GSS) is initiating a 16-day campaign to raise awareness and end human trafficking of women and children in our country.

In relation to this, the launch of the ‘Orange the World: Say No to Violence Against Women and Children 16-Day campaign’ will be held as follows:

Date:   Sat, 25th Nov 2017
Time:   3pm to 5pm
Venue: Rumah Uskup Agung,
528 Jalan Bukit Nanas, Kuala Lumpur

LIVE broadcast @ https://Tv.ArchKL.org

More information is made available through following websites; https://www.pkgs.org.myhttps://www.burningbush.org.my, and https://www.archkl.org

299 Limbanak confirmands urged to bear fruit

LIMBANAK – Archbishop John Wong urged the 299 newly confirmed to go and bear fruit in being true witnesses of Christ.

The candidates were conferred the Sacrament of Confirmation by Abp Wong on 10 Oct 2017 at St Aloysius Church here.

Reminding them that they have received the most important gift in their life, he encouraged them to make good use of the gift they have received to grow deeper in their faith, and be awakened to a sense of belonging by participating actively in their respective parish or outstation community.

The church was packed to capacity to accommodate additional faithful who came especially to witness the confirmation of candidates who could not receive the sacrament due to flash floods on Sept 29 at St Michael’s Church.

The candidates came from zones encompassing Penampang, Kinarut, Limbanak, Sugud, Kolopis and Sukang-Madpai. – Soccom Penampang

Papar-Limbahau delegates share how AMOS-3 broadens their minds on migrant ministry

Abp Wong (with dark glasses) and Dominic Lim (2nd from R) pose with the Papar delegates at the AMOS-3 conference held, 21-23 Sept 2017 in Sandakan.

PAPAR – Some of the Papar and Limbahau delegates to the recent AMOS-3 conference shared on how the conference has broadened their minds on the migrant ministry.

Present at the 21-23 Sept 2017 conference in Sandakan were five delegates from Papar and six from Limbahau.

Papar has a significant population of migrant parishioners mainly from Indonesia and some from the Philippines.

William Charles Mindus spoke about the importance of eradicating negative perception towards migrants.

He lamented that because the migrants are being perceived as a threat, they are, in many instances, being alienated in pastoral activities.

“We need to soften our hearts and open the eyes of our heart to imitate Jesus Christ in His humility and mercy towards the poor and marginalised,” said Mindus.

Recalling that Mary, Joseph and Jesus were once migrants in the land of the Gentiles, and so did the early missionaries in foreign land, “we need to remind ourselves of the Social Teaching of the Catholic Church on how to treat others fairly and justly, especially migrants irrespective of their racial and religious backgrounds,” he added.

Mindus also reminded lay and church leaders to foster solidarity and inclusiveness in all aspects of the Church ministries: choir, youth, warden, women’s league, BECs (KKD), etc instead of reserving the migrant brothers and sisters to serve only during Migrant Sunday or on special occasions.

Mary Jimit shared that prior to AMOS-3 she was somewhat blurred on what AMOS is all about, and even unsure of her role in the PHDC.

AMOS-3 helped her to realise God’s calling and enable her to grasp the objective and the vast scope of migrant ministry.  She opined that the conference had instilled an awareness within her to touch others through the migrant ministry, and so to begin to ‘walk the talk’ the social teaching of the Church.

She hoped to serve in the PHDC more from an understanding of it as Christ’s mission, not only in the migrant ministry, but also in other pastoral ministries as well.

Imelda Hayon reckoned that AMOS is part of her personal struggle as a Catholic serving in St Joseph Church.

She expressed her hope that the ministry members would serve in unity and share with others what they have learnt and experienced during the conference.

Sylvester Joseph commented that this conference was his second exposure, and shared that AMOS has created awareness in him in the migrant ministry, and to accept the migrant brothers and sisters as part of the church community.

He hoped that both parishes could always collaborate and contribute toward unity in migrant ministry and PHDC-related activities.

Though Limbahau parish rarely sees a high influx of migrant parishioners compared to Papar parish, he still envisioned the need to develop the migrant ministry by involving the migrant members in various pastoral activities such as rosary prayers and the BECs. – SOCCOM Papar-Limbahau

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